Energy associations championing the move towards renewable sources, including SolarPower Europe and WindEurope, have issued a declaration setting policy recommendations for the European Union to achieve the European Green Deal’s climate and energy goals.
During the emPOWER Energy Transition Summit – held yesterday in Brussels to highlight renewables and smart energy contributions to the European Commission’s European Green Deal – the organisations’ CEOs stressed the importance for the EU to achieve climate neutrality.
SolarPower Europe CEO Walburga Hemetsberger said: “We believe that a 100% renewables-based energy system in Europe is possible, which would ensure a sustainable and secure future.
“In order to achieve this vision, it is urgent to deliver an ambitious industrial strategy for renewables, and establish the renewable sector as a strategic value chain for Europe.”
According to the signatories, the European climate law should accelerate the implementation of the Clean Energy Package – eight legislative proposals to help the EU transition towards a carbon-neutral economy. The climate law – set to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 – must empower the European Commission (EC) to secure the delivery of the EU 2030 climate targets, guaranteeing a 40% cut in greenhouse gas emissions and 32% of renewable energy.
The EU must also ensure collaborative electricity infrastructure planning, including integrating decentralised energy and developing an industrial strategy that encompasses supply and demand-side policies.
smartEn executive director Frauke Thies said: “Successfully decarbonising our energy system will depend on increasing renewables and energy efficiency, as well as unlocking flexibility on the demand-side. It is unthinkable to scale up one without boosting the others.”
The associations highlighted the importance for the European Green Deal – presented by the European Commission in December – to foster a fair transition for all European citizens, supporting reskilling programmes to help countries with the economic and social impact of a carbon-neutral economy.
Renewables Grid Initiative CEO Antonella Battaglini said: “Optimised use of distributed resources and the electricity grid, the necessary sector integration, local value production while ensuring effective nature protection and stakeholder engagement – these constitute the coherent horizontal efforts necessary to allow the Green Deal to deliver a stronger and more meaningful Europe within and beyond our borders.”
The EC energy commissioner Kadri Simson delivered the conference’s closing remarks and said: “With the Green Deal, the direction of travel is clear. But what we must work out together is how to get to our end goal. We need more innovative solutions to make the transition a reality.
“We have made great strides in clean energy technologies in recent years, however, I’m convinced that many of the solutions for reaching climate neutrality do not exist yet. These solutions will not emerge on their own – we need innovation and investment to make it happen.”